Gov Bentley: Work to create Northern Beltline to begin in 2014 - WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Gov Bentley: Work to create Northern Beltline to begin in 2014

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A transportation dream for many in the Birmingham area is about to become a reality.

After years of planning, actual construction on the Northern Beltline is expected to begin in 2014.

According to a press release from the Governor's Office, Governor Bentley held a news conference in Gardendale Tuesday afternoon to announce the news.

This comes, after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved a permit for construction of the first phase of the Beltline Monday.

The Northern Beltline will be a 52-mile highway that will stretch from Interstate 59 in northeast Jefferson County to the junction of I-459 and I-20/59 in southwest Jefferson County.

The first phase of the project is a 1.34 mile portion between State Highway 75 and State Highway 79 in northeast Jefferson County.

Once construction begins, completion of the first portion of the Beltline is expected to take five to six years.

"The Northern Beltline will support economic development and additional job creation in Jefferson County," Governor Bentley said. "It will link all the Interstates in the county, and it will increase accessibility to several communities. New industries look for modern infrastructure and convenient access when considering locations to build and create jobs. The Northern Beltline will spur economic growth and benefit drivers and residents throughout Jefferson County."

The Northern Beltline is funded 100% by federal funds.

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